New Year, New Home? Getting on the property ladder in 2018

28th December 2017

The new year is usually when most of us kick back into gear and start to look at our goals for the next 12 months. For some it’ll simply be to exercise more or drink less beer, for others these might be bigger milestones such as starting a new career. But the one thing on most younger people’s wish lists is to get a first foot onto the property ladder. Some complain that times are hard for First Time Buyers, but gaining a little knowledge about the property market in your local area, learning about mortgages and getting to know your local agents can really help to make home ownership feel all the more achievable. Below are some of our suggestions for getting onto the property ladder in 2018.

  1. Seek mortgage advice sooner rather than later

If your view on the affordability of your first property is dismal, you may be putting off seeing a mortgage advisor for fear of bad news. But more often than not, a trip to a mortgage advisor brings up opportunities you may not have considered. A lot of first time buyers are pleasantly surprised by the different options available from lenders. At the very worst, your mortgage advisor will be able to give you some savings or earnings goals to work towards if it is bad news, at best you could be leaving with a bigger budget to start house hunting that you ever expected, and could also have a Decision in Principle ready to show vendors that you’re a serious buyer.

  1. Research government housing schemes

There is a common misconception that affordable housing that is subsidised by the government (such as properties within Shared Ownerships schemes) is exclusively available to medics and teachers. This is no longer the case, and there are several first time buyer options available. Each scheme has its own application process, so you should start making enquiries as soon as possible to go through the eligibility checks. If you find that you are eligible for a shared ownership scheme, this will open up a selection of new build apartments in Brighton, Hove and Lewes that we often have listed on our website.

  1. Have a direct debit detox

If you’re saving for a deposit, or want to cut your monthly outgoings down in readiness for a mortgage, then having a direct debit detox could save you a fair amount of money each month and potentially £1000 or more over a year. If you’re someone who signs up for things and forgets about them, have a good look through your recent bank statements. For example, film or music streaming services are usually under £10 a month, but if you have several of these and aren’t really using them, are they worth keeping? £7.99 per month x 12 is £95 a year. Do you really need your Gin club subscription, or are you clinging on to your gym membership without having visited for months? It’s also worth having a chat with your utility companies to see if you could be on a better tariff too.

  1. Start getting a feel for the local housing market

Even if you’re not quite ready to start viewing properties or to apply for a mortgage, a little bit of window shopping will help to educate you on the average price for the type of property you’d like, in your area. Not only can you look at properties currently on the market, but it’s also possible to find out what properties sold for. This search will show you the average sold price for 1-bedroom flats in BN3 in 2017.

  1. Chat with us

Once you’ve got an idea of your budget, and an indication that you will be approved for a mortgage, and have a rough idea of the area you’d like to live in, have a chat with us at Oakley and we can add you to our list of registered buyers, to let you know as soon as any new properties come onto the market. We can also give you some guidance on other locations or property types you might not have considered, based on our local knowledge. To start your journey onto the property ladder, get in touch with us. 

Contact your local Oakley Residential Team: 

  • Brighton 01273 688881
  • Lewes 01273 487444
  • Shoreham 01273 661577


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